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Monday, March 24, 2014

March towards Inequality

Gun toting black cat commandoes leaning out of the car windows and shouting at passing vehicles to keep out of the way is a sight that most of us Delhites witness on a daily basis and detest from the core of our hearts.  How often have we experienced being held up on the streets of Delhi when driving, and being confined to the footpaths when walking, whenever top political leaders in power move on the roads of the capital and other cities of the country?  

Even while travelling on trains, how often we are inconvenienced by gun toting bodyguards of the so called representatives of the public, who apparently are more for display and less for protection?

Is it not unfortunate that in almost all cases a gun toting policeman is being utilized as a mere adornment by the democratic rulers of an under developed nation? The incessant clamour of the political classes for a red beacon atop their vehicles merely to distinguish them from the masses and elicit a superior service in the process is also indicative of a feudal mind-set.  Perhaps red beacons, gun toting accompaniments, opportunities for accumulating immense wealth and shameless flaunting of power over the masses are what attract people to the electoral arena, not a penchant to serve and take the nation forward. It is indeed unfortunate that even though the nation swears by a democratic system, the mentality of those who occupy positions of power is that of a ruler that has absolutely no intentions of serving whatsoever.

Somehow over a period of time, the ability to sidestep the rules of the society and the machinery to govern it has emerged in this nation as the most prominent symbol of having arrived. What a difference from the developed countries where the rulers and the ruled intermingle within the same set of rules without favour to any. How often we read with amazement stories of the siblings of the prime ministers and presidents of such countries being challaned like a commoner by an ordinary traffic constable, or being hauled up for violation of tax or other laws. Amazement as we are used to the other extreme, the siblings often bashing up the cutting level functionaries of the law enforcement machinery.

It is not only those in power but also those rolling in money who have the ability to sidestep the rules of governance as we have often witnessed in the cases of rich brats in fast moving cars running over pedestrians and then getting away with it. It is only in extremely rare cases that a man like Subrat Roy has to spend a couple of nights behind bars, for the sarkari and the judicial systems of the country have developed an uncanny ability to give way for the powerful and the rich.

Perhaps the origins of this malaise lie in the distortions that entered in the “varna” system put in place by the great rishis of ancient India. The “varna” system degenerated into a birth based caste system and ultimately led to various modes of differentiating between men.  And so now besides the caste system we have various other combinations – the poor and the rich, the powerful and the power less, the more powerful and the less powerful and so on and so forth. Therefore even though our constitution strives for equality, in practice however there are differences of various shades and hues in the entire social structure of the nation. Our utter failure in even providing a semblance of an effort in building a society rooted in value systems is widely visible.

Our inability to give our mother tongue the same status that France gives to French, Germany to German, China to Chinese, Portugal to Portugese and so on speaks volumes about our lack of inclination for nation building. While building a nation, the language comes first and that is what we as a nation totally forgot in our race towards acquiring individual power and pelf at the cost of the society. One hopes the ensuing samudra manthan would give us the answers and also the solutions. 

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